SciFri Book Club | Women at the Harvard Observatory, 1875-1950 on AADL.TV
Starting in the late nineteenth century, the Harvard Observatory hired women to study stars via the Astronomical Photographic Glass Plate Collection. Some of these women—such as Annie Jump Cannon, Henrietta Leavitt, and Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin—made discoveries that changed astrophysics forever. However, they were far from the only women working at the Harvard Observatory during the era of astronomical glass plate photography. Harvard’s glass plate collection acted as a haven for women who wanted to study the stars, long before they found equality in the field of astronomy.
Lindsay Zrull is the Curator of Astronomical Photographs at the Harvard College Observatory. In addition to giving historical tours of the observatory and caring for Harvard's 500,000 astronomical glass plate photographs, she runs the daily operations for the DASCH Project (Digital Access to a Sky Century @ Harvard). Before coming to The Center for Astrophysics, Zrull worked on several women's history initiatives including writing biographies for Project Continua and developing STEM exhibits for the University of Michigan's Sindecuse Museum. Zrull is passionate about the groundbreaking work women accomplished in past centuries and she enjoys talking to the public about Harvard Observatory's historic women computers and astronomers.